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Old November 5th, 2011, 11:07 PM   #1
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Wedding lighting

Hi,
I have been doing weddings for close to 25 years now and over the years I would run into the occasional "aaaawww that light is to bright" person usally someone older. Lately I have been getting a lot of those. I thought it was because I went HD and bumper my light from 35 to 50 watts but I dont think that makes much difference from the "other side" I also bought a low output LED for table shots and some dancing and even though its softer I still have been getting the old " wow that lights bright" reaction. I started trying and upping the wattage but I backed off a few feet. That seems to help. Anyone else having issues like this? if so how are you handling it?
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Old November 6th, 2011, 01:24 AM   #2
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Re: Wedding lighting

Take notice of the ambient lighting next time you get chastised for your bright light. A 100watt bulb in the outdoors would barely register, whereas you might blind someone with a 20w LED in a dark hall. There are a few immediate and practical steps you can take to minimize the complaints, all while improving the quality of lighting. First, get a hydrostatic arm, 7" or 11" (also called an Israeli arm). By mounting your light higher above the lens, you'll get more defining shadows, and less 'deer in headlights' shine. For close-range interviews, a diffusion screen widens the apparent light source, reducing it's harshness for the viewer and softening the harsh shadows that a small point-source light gives. If your light is dimmable, consider bringing it up slowly to allow the talent to acclimate. Finally, if you can conduct interviews with a light source behind you, it lowers the apparent contrast for the interviewee, giving them less of a black-hole background behind you.

Hope this helps.
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Old November 6th, 2011, 06:05 AM   #3
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Re: Wedding lighting

Hey Randy

That is all good advice from Oren. I occasionally get the same comments "Did you bring me a welding helmet to wear???" It's most definately a case of the ambient level ... put your light on in a really dim venue and the people will feel they are blinded but in a fairly well lit venue they hardly notice the same light!! I let my guests congratulate the couple on video with messages during pre-dinner drinks and if the level of the room looks especially low I will ask the staff to turn the lights up, just a small amount and it makes all the difference. I use my diffuse filter ALL the time!! It takes off the glare quite dramatically and works a treat!!

My light is on my coldshoe but I'm using shoulder mount cams Oren, what sort of height do you figure would be enough to keep subjects happy .... 12" above my camera on my shoulder would probably put the light over 6' which is neat....if you elevate the light do you then tilt it down a bit or keep it looking straight ahead????

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Old November 6th, 2011, 10:47 AM   #4
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Re: Wedding lighting

I just don't see any way around it, I try to use the least possibly amount of light to get the job done, but still get those comments. Of course the light will seem brighter in a darker space, but that's when you really need the light. I've asked the venue to turn up the lights, but they always say no, citing that the bride and groom want the mood to be romantic.

It's just part of wedding videography.
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Old November 6th, 2011, 11:53 AM   #5
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Re: Wedding lighting

Occasionally I ran into some drama queens at weddings. They made a squinting face staring at the light and said "the light is too bright". I told them, not looking at it.
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Old November 6th, 2011, 11:54 AM   #6
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Re: Wedding lighting

And there are people always look at the camera light thinking that's the camera lens.

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Old November 6th, 2011, 12:05 PM   #7
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Re: Wedding lighting

I agree that its all relative to the ambient light, I use a 42 watt until I get my money for my comer 1800s next month. but even if I went back to 25 like used before HD it would matter. The complaints I get are not from anyone important BUT I dont want to turn people off to wedding video our market is hurtin here bad enough.I will look into the arm thanks for that.
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Old November 6th, 2011, 02:21 PM   #8
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Re: Wedding lighting

I use a LP Micro on my old reliable almost see in the dark (notice ALMOST) with a diffusion filter and a 1/4CTO which knocks down the effective wattage and the throw from 25W to maybe 20W and the throw is good for about 8 maybe 10 feet on a stretch. I'll run at 12db gain since the PD cameras not only handle that but more without breaking up if needed. Now having said all of that, last night was a perfect example. Once the party started the lights over the dance floor went OFF, not dim but OFF. Luckily the venue has pretty nice built in DJ type lighting built into the ceiling (about 18 feet in height). the dance floor is about 70 feet by 30 feet so you need to move from one end to the other in order to get the dancing properly and since everyone knows I'm not a fly on the wall type I'm out there on the floor, and other than 1 person making a face, I had no issues with people not liking the light. It was a great crowd and the floor was filled with people the whole time I was there. I have had people over the years make faces and even comments about the light but I simply tell them to close their eyes and tell me what they see. they always answer nothing. Right and since the camera isn't as sensitive as your eyes guess what. The camera will not see anything either. I either have to light it up a bit OR the B&G will have an all black video of their reception.
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Old November 6th, 2011, 03:02 PM   #9
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Re: Wedding lighting

I think the LED I use is about equivilent to a lp micro. Most people dont address me directly they just make it clear the light bothers them. I thought about it even if I had the money to get the best low light HD camera on the market I dont think it would help.I think even one of the those small LED flashlights would bother them. I like to use a low power softlight and get on the dance floor with them and then use a "long throw" light for the entrances and toasts and other main stuff. I may try using the longer throw light more and back off 10 feet or so and shoot more from a ladder.
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Old November 6th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #10
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Re: Wedding lighting

You can consider mounting a better light on light stand. I use Comer 1800 on light stand placed near the the dance floor. with Comer 1800 condenser lens, it projected a spot light. Not only it makes the video looks better, it also add s focal point of where the audience should be looking at.
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Old November 6th, 2011, 06:38 PM   #11
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Re: Wedding lighting

I no longer use any on-camera lighting for that reason - and, because I don't like the flat washed out look from a straight-on light source. I use a 250 Lowel Pro-light as my main light. I have it mounted on a 13 light stand so the angle is pretty steep which makes it less likely to get in someone's eyes. I use it with a snoot and and a diffuser which creates a nice spot like effect. I have smaller LED also on a light stand, that I use as a second source. Both lights are dimmable so I can raise and lower the output to the appropriate levels

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Old November 6th, 2011, 07:13 PM   #12
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Re: Wedding lighting

What do you do at the Church or for table shots?Anyone here using 1/30 to be able to shoot in less light?
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Old November 6th, 2011, 08:38 PM   #13
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Re: Wedding lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Johnson View Post
What do you do at the Church or for table shots?Anyone here using 1/30 to be able to shoot in less light?
No question. In certain circumstances you just about about HAVE to go to 1/30 and if the action is fairly still (toast, even vows at altar), slowing it up won't even present blur.
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Old November 6th, 2011, 10:10 PM   #14
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Re: Wedding lighting

What about receptions? Like Dancing or entrance into the hall?
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Old November 7th, 2011, 02:07 AM   #15
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Re: Wedding lighting

Most church won't allow using camera light, or flash light for photography.

This is a clip showing the open dance floor using comer lights on camera and on light stand.

I always shoot with F2.8 and 1/30 shutter when in low light. I don't notice any motion blur.
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